Friday, April 16, 2021

Libel: Court orders El-Rufai to give Metuh N10,000 for failure to present witness


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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A Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, has fined the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, for failing to produce his witness in a libel case against a former spokesman to the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.

The governor had filed a N1.5bn suit against the former PDP spokesman for linking him to Boko Haram in 2014.

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Mr El-Rufai on four occasions since June 2016 failed to produce his witness to substantiate his claim against Mr Metuh at the court.

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During the resumed hearing of the trial on Wednesday, counsel to the governor, Rabi Adamu, informed the court that his witness was not available to testify, praying for an adjournment.

Reacting to Adamu’s prayer, lawyer to Mr Metuh, Ben-Chuks Nwosu, said the failure of the plaintiff to produce his witness showed that there is no case against the former PDP spokesman.

Describing the action of the governor as an abuse of court process, Mr Nwosu prayed the court not to entertain such.

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He also urged the court to compel the governor to produce his witness or immediately close the case.

He also asked the court to award a cost of N150,000 in favour of his client.

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Justice Abubakar Talba, while ruling on the matter awarded a cost of N10,000 in favour of Mr Metuh.

Mr Talba therefore adjourned the matter till July 5.

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